TED Conversations

Boas Bamberger

This conversation is closed.

A Quantum Computing Approach to Test for Free Will in Humans.

Assuming the Big Bang to be the starting point of quantum entanglement, we now have the situation of a seemingly infinite number of entanglements that make our universe what it is. From this point of view every decision we make forms new entanglements and is due to prior entanglements. If that is so, there is no free will, but merely the consequence of prior entanglements.

To test this assumption quantum computers could do the trick. An algorithm (AI) that draws on a subjects personality, life-history and some environmental factors to predict future binary decision could give an insight on how prior entanglements are predictive to new entanglements. To train the algorithm several subjects are needed to verify on binary decisions the computer clone of each subject made.

Thanks to quantum computing such an algorithm could be able to finish computing within our lifetime. There are several more advantages that come along with quantum computers for this kind of machine learning.

Now: If the accuracy for binary decision making predictions of this algorithm is significantly greater than 0.5 (pure chance for any binary decision), it can be said, that there is no free will.

I think to resolve the question of free will in humans is essential in understanding the purpose we are serving. This approach is relatively cost effective, as a small number of subjects would suffice to test the hypothesis. The costs would reside with the time to develop a proper algorithm as well as the hardware. Nevertheless there are ethical constraints to this approach, as the subjects would have to share a lot of very personal data. Furthermore if the hypothesis was tested to be true I assume there would be tremendous effects on society.

I would love to hear your opinion on this topic. Maybe someone can point out similar experiments or approaches I missed so far in my research.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Apr 24 2013: Boas,

    Very interesting post.

    (BANG) was governed by rules. Therefore, if all actions are based on that set of rules...we don't really have a say in anything. We are just along for the ride.

    (BIG BANG - (LAWS))
    (BOOOOM) ----- L A W S

    Eventually Earth came into existence because it had to. It was going to happen because of the laws being applied to matter.

    The moment matter began to move, and was governed by laws, it started to pave the way to life.

    Here's the problem with computers. Programs are going to select actions based on the set of variables you program. They cannot learn on their own. Even if they can absorb information they will not update the frame they put information into.

    (Computer - (LOGIC SET)

    You would have to manually update this (LOGIC SET) or (FRAME) in which the information obtained is understood. Humans do this themselves. We only need information. We already understand how to apply the information we obtain.


    Henry J. Woeltjen
    B.S. Criminal Justice Administration
    MBA Student
    Blogger/Social Media Guru/ Business Management Consultant
    • thumb
      Apr 25 2013: Hi Henry, the first part is pretty much, what am trying to understand. About the second part on computer programs: Take a look at machine learning and you will see that it is common practice to create self-refining programs. That is programs are able to modify there code and by that learn and advance autonomously on a set of preset laws. That is pretty much the same as you described in the first part.
      • Apr 25 2013: They can only modify their code based on a program. So that means...they are limited in their ability to modify anything.

        They are self refining programs within a programmed list of data.

        They are not able to refine the refining program.. Therefore, this refining program may become obsolete in turn making the entire system outdated.

        The only refining program that will not be outdated...is a human (programmer).
        • thumb
          Apr 27 2013: Yes, there still are certain limitations. However we are getting unexpected results from computer intelligence already. Still, you are correct in the human to be the better 'program' as for now! ;-)

          If you are interested send me a message, then I will fill you in on some of the latest research on machine learning as soon as I got more time to get to it.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.